New Kids on the Block

MTSU head coach Rick Stockstill announced the signing of four junior college players who will join the 2010 Blue Raider squad this week. BlueRaiderZone caught up with Coach Stock to talk about the group and how they'll fit into the mix.

QB Jeff Murphy
Stock Says: When Brent Burnette and Jamal Ramsey quit it left us in a bit of a hole as far as quarterback depth goes. In Spring we went out during the May evaluation period and scoured the junior college market because we didn't want a high school kid. We were looking for somebody who had played at a higher level. Jeff's a 3-for-2 guy with a good arm. He's also a better runner than Brent was, but not quite what Dwight is. He's definitely got above adequate running skills.

WR Vincent Van Horne
Stock Says: I felt coming out of Spring that we were a receiver and a defensive back short. I really felt we needed to sign another receiver, so we evaluated a few guys and he was one of them. We had seen more tape on him because we evaluated him back in the fall since he was a teammate of (new QB Logan) Kilgore's. He's a tough kid who runs good routes.

CB T.L. Edwards
Stock Says: He's a corner with some height to him and he can run. He's got good ball skills and he's rangy with long arms. Pretty much all of the teams we have this year with the exception of FAU, Georgia Tech and possibly Minnesota are going to go four wide and spread the field, so he's going to have a great chance to come in and compete for a spot right away.

DT Jesse Kirkland
Stock Says: Jesse's not really that tall. He's probably around 6-0, 280 lbs. but he's strong and runs really well. Originally, I wanted to sign an offensive lineman, but the injuries in Spring made us reevaluate that. The original plan was to sign two defensive backs, a wide receiver and an offensive lineman. But then both quarterbacks quit so then we needed a quarterback and the injuries to Dwight (Smith) and SaCoby (Carter) made us decide to get a junior college guy with snaps on the inside. That's where he'll play. He's definitely an inside guy.

Extra Extra: When asked which of the newest JUCO wide receivers would make the biggest impact on the offense this year, Stockstill guessed that it would likely be Tyler Mason. Mason went through Spring with the team and while Jamar Brown was on campus, he pulled his hamstring and missed a good portion of Spring. Look for Mason to fill one of the holes left by the group of departing inside receivers.

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